How to Make a School Spirit Music Video for Youtube

How to Make a School Spirit Music Video for Youtube
By Susan Basko, Esq.

12 Simple Steps, each of which take a good deal of time, work, and attention to detail:

1. TEACHER SUPPORT:  Gather the support of a teacher who will sponsor the making of the video.    Any enthusiastic teacher will do.

2. STUDENT VIDEO CREW: Find a few students who like to do video production.  A music video such as the one above can be made using a GoPro type of camera that is worn on a hat.  A good cellphone video camera can also be used to make such a music video.  You don't need an expensive or fancy or big camera.

3. PLAN YOUR VIDEO: Plan how you will make your video so that you have as little editing to do as possible.  Youtube itself has a  simple video editor that is compatible with Youtube and easy to use.  Or the people on the video team may have their own video editing program.

Note: One mistake a lot of these school walk-through videos (like the one below) are making is having the featured people walking backwards.  The camera person should walk backwards, with the featured people walking toward the camera.  The camera person should walk a few feet ahead of the featured performers, but be walking backwards.  The camera person will have an assistant to guide the way.   Plan this out and practice and you will see that the video looks much better with the main performers walking toward the camera.

4. CHOOSE A SONG or SONGS.  Our good friends at Youtube have made arrangements so that you can use many popular songs for free to make your own music video for Youtube!  The songwriters and record labels have agreed to let us use their music on Youtube videos and Youtube puts ads on the video.  That way, the music people are making a little money from your video.  This is ONLY for use on Youtube and not on any other video uploading site.  Keep in mind, a Youtube video can be linked onto Facebook, Twitter, or in emails, and can be embedded onto almost any website or blog - if you set the settings on your video on your Yutube channel so that it can be shared by linking and embedding.

5. YOUTUBE POPULAR SONG LIBRARY.  Here is a link to the music library of popular songs.  If the song is on the list, you are allowed to use it on your Youtube video.  You will need to buy a copy of the song someplace, such as Itunes or Amazon.

6. SONG POLICIES.  Find a song and read the "Policies" that apply to it.
You can use the search bar on the page to find the song you like.  Click on the little arrow by the song to find out the Policies related to the song.  If the song you want to use is on the list, you don't need any sort of licensing.  Youtube worked out this deal especially for Youtube users so you can make cool videos with the great music that you love!

7. YOUTUBE CONTENT POLICIES.  Keep in mind, Youtube NEVER allows any video that shows any person who has not given their permission to be in the video.  Youtube does not allow any video to show any person or mention their name unless that person has given permission.  Youtube also does not allow anything that says anything bad about any person (defamation), or that invades anyone's privacy, or anything that is shocking, violent, gross, sexual, illegal, or anything that promotes illegal drug use, violence, terrorism, hate, racism, or any other such thing.

This excellent school video from Canton High School uses snippets of many songs:

8. TRY TO INVOLVE EVERYONE AT YOUR SCHOOL.  If you look at both of these videos, you will see that they include everyone from the school.  Include students of all races, all sizes. Include the students with disabilities.  Include the book worms and the shy students.  Watch these videos for clever ideas on how to do this.  On Youtube, you can find many other examples of school spirit videos.  Some use cameras on drones for aerial shots.  Some have a talking or acting component -- though these videos are not usually as strong as the spirit videos that use only music.

Here's another good one that uses a lot of songs. This is from Lexington High School:

9. REHEARSE THE VIDEO.  SHOOT THE VIDEO.  Once you have the video all planned out, the individuals who will lip synch or dance or speak should rehearse their parts. Then there should be a day when everyone gathers to do a big group rehearsal and to shoot the video.  You should rehearse and shoot the video on the same day, since it will be hard to gather all those people more than once.

10. EDIT AND UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO. After the video is shot, it will need to be edited.  It is best if you plan in advance to have as little editing as possible. For example, while you are shooting the video, you can have the music playing over a boombox so all you need to do is match up the video with the song using the boombox audio that is on the video. Practice this a bit and you will find what works best for you.

11. UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO AND SET YOUR SETTINGS.  Once your video is made, upload it to a Youtube video channel.  It is best to create a channel just for the video so that no one feels that the school spirit video message is being mixed with any other messages. Someone will need to watch the Message Inbox on the channel in case there are problems with take down requests. You will also want to be sure to check the box to allow someone to moderate the comments so that negative comments don't spoil your video.  Or it may be easier to simply Disable Comments.  If you disable comments, you will lose some encouraging comments, but you will also avoid the nasty haters.

12. POST LINKS AND EMBEDS.  Once the video is up on Youtube, if you have the "Sharing" setting set so that anyone can link or embed the video, you can encourage all the students to post the video on their Facebook and Twitter pages, to email it to their families and friends, and embed it on their blogs or websites.  This is a great way to share your school spirit!

And most of all, have fun!